‘Customers have experienced a digital-first way to shop for electricals, the majority will never look back’, says AO boss

AO World has reported that it experienced its strongest ever peak trading period over the Black Friday period and in the run up to Christmas.

In its latest trading update for its third quarter (covering the three months ended 31 December 2020), the online retail giant said it saw a “significant increase” in demand for its products and services since the start of the pandemic.

In the last quarter the company recorded year-on-year UK revenue growth of 67.2 per cent to £457.3 million.

AO Founder and Chief Executive, John Roberts, commented: “Now that customers have experienced a better, digital-first way to shop for electricals, I believe the majority will never look back. We intend to cement that change by raising the bar on our service and proposition in ways that only AO can deliver.”

AO John Roberts WPThe retailer said it is looking forward with confidence as the structural shift to online is “cemented in consumers’ minds” by the changes seen throughout 2020.

AO continues to invest in its infrastructure while also incurring significantly higher costs, it said, due to some of the challenges of working in a COVID-compliant environment. There are also some “COVID-created imbalances” in supply and demand in some categories, it said.

Mr Roberts added: “I believe we’ve seen 10 years of change in 10 months, and experienced our strongest ever peak trading period.

“We backed ourselves by investing early in warehouses, vehicles, stock and people. This not only set us up to satisfy customer demand for electricals for the current crisis but also for the longer term, as the structural shift to online becomes a permanent feature of the market in the UK and Germany.

“Our confidence in those investments has been rewarded by these exceptional levels of sales. We’ve seen how the short-term costs translate into a fantastic opportunity to drive lifetime value for millions more customers. We’re delighted to have earned their trust after their first purchase and their first experience of the AO Way.”